The Achilles tendon can either break suddenly with a snapping sound or tear slowly over time owing to small injuries. Consequently, you can no longer stand on your tiptoes on the injured leg. Surgery is often performed to repair the rupture.
- The tendon can break with a clearly audible snapping sound, similar to the crack of a whip
- This is followed by a sudden, sharp pain, which soon subsides
- The tendon can also tear slowly without causing any pain
- Owing to small injuries over a longer time period
- It’s impossible to stand on tiptoes on the injured leg
Causes and treatment
- Sudden overload (e.g. changing direction, jumping when doing sport, a misstep, a blow against the tendon)
- Repeated small strains and overstress
- Long-term cortisone therapy
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging, only in exceptional cases)
- Operation (sewing the tendon together)
- Immobilisation with a plastic brace
What can I do myself?
The RICE guidelines should be applied:
- Rest: immediately stop the activity
- Ice: cool the injury by applying ice or a cool pack (be careful not to apply directly to the skin)
- Compression: using an elastic bandage
- Elevate: the foot
When to see a doctor?
- If it's impossible to stand on tiptoes on the injured leg
Achilles tendon rupture